CANTON - Nissan's corporate office announced 500 new jobs last week in anticipation of the start of production of the Murano, which is set to begin this fall.

With the addition of these jobs, the plant will grow to support more than 6,000 manufacturing positions for the first time in its 11-year history.

"We're really proud of our history in Mississippi," said Nissan spokesman Justin Saia. "In the last three years, we've added more than 2,000 jobs."

This fall, the Canton plant will make history by becoming the sole worldwide assembly location for the 2015 Nissan Murano, a mid-sized crossover with a premium interior and purposeful technology.

"There are 500 new jobs," began Saia. "They are long-term, full-time jobs with competitive wages and competitive benefits."

Hiring will continue throughout the summer. To qualify for available positions, applicants must possess a high school diploma and speak English.

"Manufacturing experience is a plus, but these jobs are open to anyone who meets the baseline criteria," said Saia.

Nissan was the first to bring automotive production to Mississippi, but many others have followed suit.

Systems Electro Coating, located on Old Jackson Road south of the Nissan plant, began in 2003 as a Tier 1 supplier of electro-coated frames and other vehicle components for Nissan. The present plant will be expanded to approximately 132,500 square feet. The completed plant will employ 65 Central Mississippians.

"It gives us the flexibility to further support Nissan, which in turn creates jobs in Central Mississippi and impacts the team members that live here," explained Chief Operating Officer Mike McGuffie.

CEO Dr. William Cooley and President Tony Cooley hail from the heart of the Magnolia State and are heavily invested in the metropolitan area.

"From our standpoint, we're always looking for innovative ways to attract suppliers," said Saia. "For Nissan, having suppliers closer to where we operate removes a lot of disruptions in our supply chain. For the community, it provides additional jobs and economic development."

Nissan is also in the midst of building a massive supplier park so that component makers can move nearer to the Canton plant. Nissan projects' suppliers will hire another 400 workers there after the park becomes fully operational in the fall.

"The future is truly bright for the City of Lights," said Canton Mayor Arnel Bolden. "This will mean more than 6,000 jobs at our Canton plant, which makes Canton Nissan the state's second largest employer."

Bolden shared the city's plans to announce business entities and potential suppliers relocating to Canton in the near future.

"Our administration has cultivated a fertile environment that is business-friendly," said Bolden. "More than likely our residential tax base will continue to grow as well as our commercial and retail sector."

For more information about a career at Nissan's Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant, interested applicants may visit www.Nissan.Jobs, www.kellyservices.us/cantonms or call (601) 885-3767.